Report: Most ‘Women’ on Ashley Madison Were Actually Fake

INFORM: In a new analysis associated with the data, Gizmodo’s Annalee Newitz said she arrived at the low quantity of women on the site “based in part on a misunderstanding of the evidence.”

“Equally clear is new evidence that Ashley Madison created more than 70,000 female bots to send male users millions of fake messages, hoping to create the illusion of a vast playland of available women,” Newitz added.

Original story:
There’s a good chance that most men on Ashley Madison never even had the opportunity to cheat. That’s because most women on the webpage were actually fake.

In accordance with an analysis of the Ashley Madison data dump from Gizmodo, almost 12,000 of the 5.5 million female profiles regarding the now-infamous adultery site belonged to actual, living breathing women.

” The world of Ashley Madison was a a lot more dystopian destination than anyone had realized,” writes Gizmodo’s Annalee Newitz. ” This isn’t a debauched wonderland of men cheating on their wives. Instead, it’s such as a science fictional future where every woman on Earth is dead, and some Dilbert-like engineer has replaced them with terribly designed robots.”

When examining the data, Newitz found that about 10,000 accounts were linked to email addresses ending in, indicating that the site’s admins had actually created them. More than 9,000 of those addresses were used for female profiles.

This suggests that “the greater part of obviously fake accounts — ones perhaps created by bored admins using their company’s email address, or maybe real women using fake information — were marked female,” Newitz blogged. “These fakes numbered in the thousands,” backing up claims made by the Impact Team hackers that Ashley Madison is a scam.

Additionally, Newitz found that about two-thirds of men on the webpage — or 20.2 million of them — had checked their messages at least once. Just 1,492 women ever did.

Meanwhile, security researcher Brian Krebs, wired ashley madison which broke the initial story about hackers breaking into, may have discovered the identity of one of the individuals behind the hack — or at least someone with inside knowledge. In a new weblog post, Krebs points to a Twitter user named Thadeus Zu (@deuszu), which posted about the Ashley Madison data dump a full day before it was ever reported by news outlets.


“Thadeus Zu … claims in a number of tweets that he was not area of the hack, but then in countless tweets he uses the royal ‘We’ when discussing the actions and motivations associated with the Impact Team,” Krebs wrote. “It is possible that Zu is instead a white hat security researcher or confidential informant having infiltrated the Impact Team and is merely riding on their coattails or acting as their mouthpiece. But a very important factor is clear: If Zu wasn’t involved in the hack, he almost certainly knows who was.”

Ever since I blogged on Thursday about the Ashley Madison hack and resulting reactions and consequences, I’ve heard from dozens of people who used the site. They offer a remarkably wide range of reasons for having done so. I’m posting below one email I received that I find specially illuminating, which I very lightly edited to correct several obvious typographical errors:

Dear Glenn,

Thank you for the kindness and humanity you have manifested to those of us whose data is now a source of public mockery and shame on AM.

I am female, hold job with a lot of responsibility, have three kids, one with special needs, and a husband with whom I have not been intimate for quite a while due to his cancer treatments.

I also used to write about marriage law policy, encouraging standard marriage for the good of young ones. My institution has a morality clause in all contracts.

Mine is a loveless, sexless, parenting marriage. I am going to look after my husband if his cancer spreads, we manage good will for the sake of the children, but we cannot speak about my emotional or sexual needs without him fixating on his death and crying.

I went on AM out of loneliness and despair, and found friendship, both male and female, with others trapped in terrible marriages trying to do right by their children.

My experiences have led me to soften my views of marriage as my personal marriage is a deeply humbling, painful longterm commitment.

I expect to be ridiculed by colleagues, to lose my job, and to be publicly shamed, specially as being a hypocrite. Yes, I used a credit card. In my own case, i am going to get no sympathy from the right or the left as I do not fit into either of their simplistic paradigms.

I have received email from Trustify that I have been searched, and it is soliciting me to purchase its services. And I are receiving lots of spam with racy headings.

That is my story. When my outing happens, I suppose I might too take a stand for those who are trapped in bad marriages. Many of us are doing the most effective we can, trying in our own imperfect way to cope with alienation, lovelessness, and physical deprivation.

I do n’t need to hurt my young ones or husband. I truly wish I had an excellent one and I want happy marriages for others. I did what I did trying to cope. Maybe it was a bad idea but again, I have met some very decent men and women on AM, a number of whom are now dear friends.

Thank you again.


As I argued last week, even for the most simplistic, worst-case-scenario, cartoon-villain depictions of the Ashley Madison user — a spouse which selfishly seeks hedonistic pleasure with indifference toward his or her own marital vows and by deceiving the spouse — that’s no person’s business aside from those who are parties compared to that marriage or, perhaps, their family members and good friends. But whilst the fallout begins using this leak, as people’s careers and reputations begin to be ruined, as unconfirmed reports emerge that some users have committed suicide, it’s worth remembering that the reality is often a lot more complex compared to the smug moralizers suggest.

The private everyday lives and sexual choices of fully formed adults are usually very complicated and thus impossible to understand — and undoubtedly impossible to judge — without wallowing around in more intimate details, none of which are any of your business. That’s a very good reason not to try to sit in judgment and condemn from afar.

As I acknowledged, there is an arguably valid case for such outing: namely, where some one with public influence is hypocritically crusading for legally enforced morality, holding themselves out as beacons of virtues they in fact violate, and harming others through that advocacy. It’s possible this emailer falls within that category: She says her past work involved ‘encouraging standard marriage for the good of young ones.

It’s worth remembering that even in these ‘easy cases, human beings are a lot more complex compared to the good/evil caricatures we’re all tempted to propagate in order to undermine political adversaries and inflate our own self-worth. Even if you interpret what she’s done in many ungenerous light possible — even if you conclude that she’s the absolute most extreme case where it’s clear she’s guilty of hypocrisy — are her actions evil and really deserving of full-scale reputational damage and worse? Is anyone really capable of sitting in stern, doubt-free judgment of the choices she’s manufactured in her most private realm?

Users of adultery site Ashley Madison beware: a number of your personal information might be viewable online.

Internet site, which touts itself as “the whole world’s leading married dating service for discreet encounters,” was the victim of a hack attack in July. The hackers threatened to publish stolen consumer data, including real names, addresses, email addresses, internal documents and credit card transactions unless Ashley Madison and, a site that matches up older men with young women, were taken offline. The hacking group, known as the Impact Team, reportedly hit the site over grievances that Ashley Madison charges its consumer a fee to delete their data.

Avid Life Media, which owns both and, confirmed to Reuters on Wednesday that some legitimate customer data was stolen into the hack and contains now been published online. The revelation by Avid Life Media follows rumors that a vast number of data on Ashley Madison customers have been leaked online. But it’s been difficult to verify the legitimacy of that data.

“There has been a substantial amount of postings since the initial posting, the vast majority of which have contained data unrelated to but there has also been some data released that is legitimate,” Avid Life spokesman Paul Keable said in an email to Reuters.

Avid Life Media failed to immediately respond to a request for comment.

Ashley Madison claims to own more than 38 million anonymous members. But it’s not clear exactly how many of those are active users. However, if the actual data of even a small percentage of those members is currently publicly available, it poses a black eye to a site that promises secrecy. A hack of a similar dating site, Adult FriendFinder, was revealed in May, exposing the personal details of millions members.

The hackers published a large amount of ashley Madison user data online late Tuesday, but the information is accessible only by using the Tor browser, which lets people browse the Internet anonymously.

Keable told Reuters no credit card information was stored on its computers. Nonetheless, several security experts claim that Ashley Madison customers have found their names into the published data, along with partial credit card details, Reuters added.

Now that hackers have released records and user information for the online dating site that boasts the motto, ‘Life is short. Have an affair, what exactly is Ashley Madison – and who’re the millions of users that sign up for the ‘infidelity site? was launched in 2001 by Toronto native Noel Biderman, a former attorney, sports agent and ‘self-described joyfully married father of two, in accordance with a 2009 profile into the Los Angeles instances. ( The site’s name simply comes from two popular names for female babies at the time.)

It really is, essentially, an online dating service with a setup and software similar to OkCupid or, but it’s geared toward people searching for extramarital affairs, either with other married individuals or single men and women.

Biderman was matter-of-fact about his site. ‘ Some men and women say it promotes promiscuity, he told the instances. ‘But if you don’t take action, you will get behavior that’s way more harmful to society. Infidelity has been around lot longer than Ashley Madison.

‘All I’m saying is, don’t take action in the workplace where it could result in someone losing their job, don’t search for a singles dating service and lie about your status, cannot hire a prostitute. Given that affairs are going to happen no real matter what, maybe we have to see Ashley Madison as being a safe alternative, he said.

The site continued to gain steam, at least until July, when hackers attacked. Internet traffic analysis site SimilarWeb estimates that the site is ranked No. 408 into the U.S., with nearly 75 million monthly visitors. (That number may be slightly skewed, with new eyes attracted by the recent controversy.)

The bulk of users (28.6 percent) are from the U.S. (the majority of that base is concentrated in New York and Los Angeles), with Brazil, Canada and Spain in distant second, third and fourth places, comprising 7.2, 5.9 and 5.7 percent of the site’s total base, respectively. Forty-five percent of this site’s traffic comes from referrals from other web sites; perhaps unsurprisingly, occupying the top slot of the referral category is

In late July, statistical analysis site FiveThirtyEight estimated that Ashley Madison has had about 37 million users. (Presumably, that number has dropped since the hack.) Into the instances profile, Biderman said that 70 percent of the users are men in their late 30s to early 40s. ( The site’s female users skewed younger.)

Nevertheless when it comes to weighing infidelity, it turns out women and men may be closer to accord than those numbers would suggest. From NPR’s interview with FiveThirtyEight’s Mona Chalabi: ‘When asked, have you thought about cheating, 28 percent of women say yes, compared to 41 percent of men.